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Old 10-04-2011, 10:57   #1
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Recommendations on River Boat for Cruising

Posted in Power boats but thought this forum might be a better fit. Please forgive the double post.

Im new to the Forum. I have lived in Miami and had several power boats up to an including a 26ft motor sailer (Renell) stubby keel. I then moved to south Alabama land locked and in 2008 moved to the bluff overlooking the Tennessee river across from Scottsboro Al. Near Guntersville dam. 30 miles.
We have done the motor home thing, we now own a class B 21ft and have spent 6 weeks at a time in it, and are now ready to tackle some river cruising. I have been looking at boats 25-30ft with a wide beam approx 10ft and decided sailing trawlers are the best fit with a small 20-30hp diesel. I read approx 0.5gph at 6 knots.

Our plans are to eventually cruse down to Florida and up to the great lakes some day. I work at home testing electronics, which is feast of famine so I get 2-3 months without work at a time and start SS this month. I'm looking to invest no more than 20k, which makes trawlers hard to come by. My dream would be a motor sailer trawler I have seen an Alpin 25 which may work. I like the trawlers because they sit higher and the cabin is mostly above the water, and generally bigger and more roomer cabins than a motor sailer. The wife gets seasick in the ocean and I would prefer to keep her above the water.

If I cant find a trawler that fills the bill I would conceder a motor sailer if the cabin is big. I like the looks of the S2 9.2A but most only come with a 12hp diesel I think its too small to fight up current on the river. I am currently remodeling the house so some fix up would not kill me but I don't want a project boat. I can do plumbing and electric and woodwork and have done some fiberglass repair but not gel coat.

I have also thought about a motor trawler without sails and adding a small sail to it, mostly for sailing downwind with the wind when its blowing at our back to save gas. I saw one at a boat show many years ago. Another thought was a motor sailer with a cut down mast and smaller sails (if it could be done) for the same reason. I once sailed a 21ft power boat across Gasprillia Bay at night with a sheet, boat hook and ore when the outboard went out.
The most important item would be living space 1-2 months at a time, the second would be gph at 5-6 knots and the 3rd would be sail all this under $20k. The boat would remain in the river system unless we go to Fla which would see very little if any open water.

So I am asking for ideas, recommendations, and criticism.
I have yet to finish reading all the posts so any help would be appreciated.
Thank you
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:45   #2
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Re: Recommendations on River boat for crusing

My river cruising time has all been spent in old wood Chris Crafts and they were fun, but if I was going that route these days I would be taking a really good hard look at the Ranger Tugs...

Just sweet layouts and really nice open cabins. Very appealing!
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Old 10-04-2011, 15:31   #3
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Re: Recommendations on River boat for crusing

Yes I like them Also but Im afraid way out of my $20,000 budget.
2008 RANGER TUGS 25
$119,000.00

Maybe you though I said $200,000
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Old 10-04-2011, 16:07   #4
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Re: Recommendations on River boat for crusing

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarafina View Post
My river cruising time has all been spent in old wood Chris Crafts and they were fun, but if I was going that route these days I would be taking a really good hard look at the Ranger Tugs...

Just sweet layouts and really nice open cabins. Very appealing!
I started looking at Cris Craft Cruisers and they do have nice layouts and can be found for good prices. So if one could find one with a small engine say 240 neighborhood or so What kind of gph could one expect at low rpm running like 5-8 knots?
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Old 10-04-2011, 16:12   #5
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Re: Recommendations on River boat for crusing

more like a 350 chevy...

rpms? maybe at that speed on a 28 to 30 foot cavalier 2000?

That's what I have experience with. My advice would be to avoid the cavalier line. The plywood hulls are really just wood wrapped around leaks ; -) And at this point in their lives even the ones that have been well cared for are in, or heading for, trouble. The seam leaks will truely drive you crazy. Glassing the hulls was NOT successful for us. It was actually the death knell for our last cruiser. Well that and a monster storm in '97.

Go older for the lapped mahogany or newer for the fibreglass.

The Chris Crafts in that size range don't usually have a separate berth room, so if you plan on guests be aware!
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Old 10-04-2011, 16:30   #6
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Re: Recommendations on River boat for crusing

No just the wife and myself looking at newer fiberglass models can get into the 90's for under $20k in the 25-30ft range. However I don't want to use more than 1gph at 7 knots. I want to just cruise, not in a hurry. I just don't know with the price of gas if a big engine running at low speeds would move the boat at efficient mpg or kpg
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Old 10-04-2011, 16:36   #7
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Re: Recommendations on River boat for crusing

Prolly want to be aiming closer to the 30' range. The low head room in the smaller ones and the lack of stowage might be uncomfortable for 1 to 2 months at a time. These were really the ultimate day cruiser... even a week in the delta on one would be feeling far more constrained than, say our current boat, a Cal 28.

I can't say much about the performance of the 90's models, All of ours were from the 60's.

But we loved em!
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